Hornets win at the end
NEW ORLEANS The Trail Blazers suffered their second close loss on a three-game trip, falling 98-96 in the final seconds to the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.
Ryan Anderson's three-point play with 1.8 seconds left boosted the Hornets to a 98-96 win at New Orleans Arena.
Wesley Matthews of Portland missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, as the Blazers finished 1-2 on the trip and dropped to 29-33 this season, tied with Dallas for 10th in the NBA Western Conference.
The Blazers and Mavericks are 2 1/2 games in back of No. 9 Utah and three games behind No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers, which sits in what would be the final playoff spot in the West.
All five Blazers starters scored in double figures, with Matthews getting a team-high 24 points.
The New Orleans bench outscored Portland's subs 45-11, and the Hornets had a 23-11 edge in second-chance points to go with a 48-30 rebounding advantage.
Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who had 20 points and a team-high eight assists, made a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining to give Portland a 96-95 lead and cap a fourth-quarter rally.
The Hornets had led 87-77 with less than seven minutes to go.
Matthews had 14 points in the fourth quarter, making 4 of 6 shots from 3-point range and 1 of 2 from 2-point territory.
Anderson was 4 of 9 from beyond the arc in the game, as he came off the bench to share team-high scoring honors at 20 points with starting guard Greivis Vasquez.
Anderson had nine points in the final quarter, making both his attempts from 3-point range.
"When 3-point shooters get hot, they create problems," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Ryan Anderson got hot, and he spaces the floor for them really well."
New Orleans, which improved to 22-42, got the game-winning play by Anderson after Vasquez drove the lane, drew the defense and passed the ball to the shooter.
Anderson, who also had a team-high 13 rebounds, also sank a 3 with 15.6 seconds remaining. That basket put New Orleans on top 95-93.
Portland center J.J. Hickson led all rebounders with 14 to match his 14 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the field, and Nicolas Batum scored 11 points.
The Blazers, who whacked San Antonio 136-106 on Friday after opening the trip with a 91-85 loss at Memphis, will play their next three games at home.
Portland faces Memphis on Tuesday, New York on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday.